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Onoto Piston Filler As Eyedropper?

onoto eyedropper

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4 replies to this topic

#1 PDW


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Posted 16 August 2013 - 14:50

I've just bought an Onoto piston filler at an antique shop. It's a BHR pen much like the top illustration in Marshall and Oldfield, 2nd ed., p.166, except that there is only an underfeed.



The plug can be unscrewed and the rod pulled out although I've not tried to see how far it can be extracted with force. The section unscrews nicely from the barrel assembly, revealing the pointed end of the piston. I suspect that the pen has not been serviced in a long time.



Having read M+O’s description a full overhaul is well beyond my current and likely future capabilities, In any case, the mechanism will always be fragile, which does not mix well with my innate clumsiness.


As the section does unscrew so easily, I can envisage removing the section and using the pen as an eyedropper by dropping ink into the barrel with the section out, then refitting the section with silicone grease. This would, of course, depend on the rod/barrel seal being sound, but I’d expect to test that out after greasing the rod and working it back and forth a few times. I’d also expect to have to release the ink flow by opening the knob a touch (if I understand the mechanism correctly).



So, what do Onoto experts see as the likelihood of being able to use the pen in this way, and are there any disadvantages, for example the possibility of damage or difficulty for future repairers due to ink getting into the wrong places?




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#2 RMN


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Posted 16 August 2013 - 14:53

I am not an Onoto expert, nor am I a repairperson.


But I would say that apart from your section-barrel seal you also have the piston-seal to look at. If that is not sound your pen will leak.







Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.





#3 lcoldfield



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Posted 16 August 2013 - 16:30

You will do no harm to the pen by your proposals.  As stated by RMN the crucial factor is the barrel end seal.  If this is not good, the pen will not fill and it will also blob during use.  Try greasing the rod well following a long soak in cold water (the water soak may make any oxidisation of the rubber appear worse, but it will do no damage).

If you fill it as an eyedropper and it writes without blobbing, try filling it using the technique I proposed in M&O for Japanese eyedroppers.  This is an inconvenient filling method, but it avoids unscrewing the section and the barrel can be filled completely - something that cannot be achieved the proper Onotoo piston seals.


#4 PDW


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Posted 16 August 2013 - 22:17

I've checked the barrel end seal by filling the barrel (section out) with water and leaving it for a while, and by opening the rod out a little and putting a couple of drops of water directly on to the seal. In both cases there was no evidence of seepage. I'm letting the assembly dry out before greasing the rod and hope it'll hold.


I'm likely to use the pen only occasionally so I'm happy with the eyedropper method - it also means that unlike the Japanese 'piston' approach I don't have to operate the rod mechanism which feels a bit graunchy.


Thanks both for advice.

#5 grandmia



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Posted 16 August 2013 - 22:46

Hi...I would be happy to service your pen, if you want to fill it with the plunger.

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